This is a question which I get asked numerous times and it’s one to which it’s difficult to give a single, definitive answer. Firstly, you have to consider the aspirations which you have for your child, as the academic standards needed to successfully navigate the 11 plus entrance process can vary greatly from area to area. It is often the case that the same child can comfortably pass an entrance test for one school/area and can fail to be successful for another – it helps to be informed of whether the schools in which you have an interest are “selective” or “super-selective.” Additionally, you need to consider your own child, their capabilities and also their resilience in terms of coping with the additional workload which preparation can often entail. This can also have an impact upon family dynamics, due to the differing ways in which children will react to being asked to complete additional tasks beyond those set by their school. My own personal experience, painfully etched into my memory, is that this process doesn’t always run smoothly! Conversely, there are many children who absolutely thrive in these conditions and who enjoy the stretch and challenge of the work – if this is you, take a deep sigh of relief, you’re one of the lucky ones. Ultimately, I feel that all children can benefit from the process of having their academic boundaries stretched in some way, this will enhance their learning and their future life prospects. The real challenge lies in doing this in a way which brings them with you on the journey, in enabling them to develop a love of learning, as this is what will have the greatest impact in the long term.